10/31/2011

i'm a patient... part 2

i just read the instructions for tomorrow.  they say "no ibuprofen for a week before the procedure".  oops, i had some 2 days ago.  shit.  well... i'm not telling.

it's important for doctor's to be patients.  that is, for us to go through the experience of being a patient in this crazy world of western medicine.  i think it helps us have empathy for our patients.  helps us remember what it's like to feel so vulnerable, and naked.

even the ibuprofen thing.  it's not like i read it two weeks ago and committed it to memory.  so i feel kinda guilty now.  like i did something wrong.  it starts the whole relationship off in a funny way.  like a submissive/dom thing.

I'm a patient!

Tomorrow I'm having a procedure done. An upper endoscopy. Or an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. They're gonna take pictures of my feed tube. See if there are any problems.
My dad had some issues at my age. He got one of these tests and it saved his life because they found something that could have turned into cancer. He took medication and he's fine. Yay science!
But I have an HMO. And they didn't want to pay for this test. They figure my dads case was different.
So I told a little fib. Hands down the best part of being a doctor, I know exactly what to say to get any test I want.
So tomorrow I'll get drugged. Then they'll put a tube in my throat and take pics. Then I find out if I'm lucky like my dad. Or unlucky.

10/11/2011

NBA cancels first two weeks of season

the only sad thing about that news is that they didn't make it permanent.  they should never play the first two weeks of their season again.

in a sport where players clearly aren't in shape for 6 weeks, and admittedly don't care until the playoffs, the first two weeks are just a public raping.  it's like the 'men of wall street' ice-capades tour, going from city to city sucking dollars.

personally, i hope they start during the playoff push in february.

10/07/2011

computers and the monkey brain

i'm 2 months into a new job, trying to bring an electronic health record to a large multi-specialty practice.

here's my early assessment of the work (and for the record, i've been training people on using these interfaces for 3 years...)
current user interfaces don't match with humans very well.  i'd give them a C, if they were in high school.
the software i'm using is fine.  it's good actually.  but in general, people just don't get it.
some people do.  and younger people do better than older ones.  but across the board, it's still people trying to figure out what the programmer was going for.

i think "user experience" in general is in 2nd grade.  we (humans making UX) have some skills and it's showing promise of one day being a useful.  and some people are really ahead of the game (like 4th grade!).  but we're clearly not reaching everyone.


the Blue represents the super-users.  they get it and say "ok, and?"
the Red represents the other 2nd graders.  they're kinda keeping up, but this shit's all new.
the Green represents the lost children.  "what the fuck are you saying?  so do i rub the credit card on the top of the computer or just hold it up to the camera?"
the Yellow represents artists in the wrong class.  they might get it.  they seem like they could get it.  but then they lose interest.

probably in 20 years, someone will create a new way for us to use computer interfaces powerfully and intuitively.  for now, it's just a lucky few.  and we're very employable.

10/06/2011

reconsidering the death penalty... on ambien

i've been against the death penalty for a long time.  so when i heard a piece about Rick Perry and the death penalty on NPR, i thought 'great!  this will help me confirm my "anti" views on both subjects.'  double word score!
but as i listened, i started challenging myself.
am i still against the death penalty?
how long has it been since i really reconsidered it?

turns out, the last time i thought about my stance was before i had kids.  woa!  the stoneages.  back then, i wasn't into the idea of the government deciding something as significant as 'who lives, who dies'.  i just didn't (still don't) trust the government.  duh.
i mean, i was never totally about the 'an eye for an eye' thing.  maybe it makes sense.  i know i'd want to kill anyone who killed my loved ones.  but having the government do it, just gets scary.
(isn't this a lovely topic.  reminds me of when they asked dukakis what he'd do if they gang-raped his wife.  seriously!  check it out)

but now that i'm a parent, something has changed in me.  i'm starting to see my place in society (right now at least) as a parent.  i have this responsibility to parent a younger generation.  it's weird!
this shows up in a lot of ways...
-like, not hitting on the drunk girl.  oy!  this is so sad.  but i just can't do it.  i see the little girl trying to get her parents approval.  fuck.  i dreaded this day, cause i knew it would come.
fortunately, i can still handle watching drunk girl porn.  when that goes... shoot me.
-and getting in the face of random misbehaving kids.  this kid was cutting in line for the slide the other day, and i called him on it.  i just had to.  the other kids needed me to.  but i was shocked at the same time.  i'm that random dad who scolded him.

and it's not a bad thing.  i'm enjoying my new role.  and playing it out while i have it.  personally i can't wait for the upcoming role of 'old, kinda senile, drug addict, who doesn't give a shit'  played so masterfully by alan arkin in Little Miss Sunshine.

another funny thing about the new role, is that i'm bonding with random adults.  folks i never woulda talked to years ago.  folks i thought were just lame sycophants, nursing the dominant paradigm for approval.  turns out they were!  but now i'm driving in their lane.  its strange.  perhaps i suck.

so there i was, with all this swimming in my head, as the npr story played.... so i freshly reconsidered my opinion in light of my new role.
as a parent, how do i want to handle these criminals.  for their sakes, and the sake of society.
and i decided:
i can't condone killing them.  i probably would want to kill the criminals myself.  get all nuts and slice 'em up.  but regardless, there's no way i'd let the government do it.  they'd fuck it up.  and these cases need to be handled carefully.
i'm sure there's a creative, clever and useful way to help criminals, and to help victims of crime.  this isn't it.
sorry sycophants, you can ostracize me again.